Michigan Senate OKs Changes to State's School Law

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The Michigan Senate has approved bills that would provide alternative paths to teacher certification, allow the expansion of charter schools and give the state schools chief more power over failing schools.

The measures passed Wednesday in the Republican-led Senate now go to the Democratic-controlled state House.

The bills are part of efforts to give Michigan a chance at winning up to $400 million in the Obama administration's Race to the Top competition. The money will be awarded to states that aggressively move to improve their schools.

Bills related to failing schools and expanding charter schools passed by 23-13 votes, with some Democrats joining most Republicans in support. Other bills in the package passed without opposition.

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